Brewers blanked by Williams, bullpen in 3-0 loss to Pirates

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 22: Adam Frazier #26 of the Pittsburgh Pirates slides safely into home plate past a tag attempt by Erik Kratz #15 of the Milwaukee Brewers in the third inning during the game at PNC Park on September 22, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

PITTSBURGH — Milwaukee’s offense was stymied when Trevor Williams combined with three relievers on a five-hitter that led the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 3-0 victory Saturday night, slowing the Brewers’ playoff push.

Seeking to reach the postseason for the first time since 2011, the Brewers had their wild-card lead cut to two games over St. Louis and fell 2½ games behind the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central with seven games left.

Milwaukee never got a runner past second base and was shut out for the 12th time this season but just the second time since the All-Star break. The Brewers were blanked six times in April.

Williams (14-9) gave up four hits in six innings, struck out seven and walked one, improving to 4-0 in his last six starts. He has pitched 19 scoreless innings in three outings against the Brewers this season and is 3-1 with a 1.38 ERA in six career games against them. He is 4-2 with a 0.86 ERA in his last seven home starts.

Rich Rodriguez, Kyle Crick and Felipe Vazquez followed with one inning each. Vazquez worked around Christian Yelich’s leadoff double in the ninth for his 36th save in 41 chances. Pittsburgh’s 16 shutouts are one behind Detroit, the major league leader.

Starling Marte hit a two-run double in the third, and Colin Moran added an RBI single in the eighth.

Zach Davies (2-7) gave up two runs and four hits in four innings. He is 0-2 in four starts since being sidelined from May 30 to Sept. 2 by inflammation in the rotator cuff of his right shoulder. Davies also fell to 2-5 in his career against Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh won for the sixth time in seven games but trails St. Louis by 7½ games for the second NL wild card with nine games left.

Moran, Adam Frazier and Corey Dickerson each had two of the Pirates’ 10 hits.

BELTING BREWERS

Milwaukee has three players with at least 30 home runs — Jesus Aguilar (33), Christian Yelich (31) and Travis Shaw (30) — for the second straight season but just the third time in franchise history. The Brewers’ 203 homers are the fifth-most in franchise history. The record is 231 in 2007.

MARTE NEARS MILESTONE

Marte needs one home run to become the third player in Pirates’ history to have at least 20 homers and 30 stolen bases in the same season. Barry Bonds did it four times, in 1987 and from 1990-92, and Andy Van Slyke pulled off the feat in 1987 and 1988.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Brewers: CF Lorenzo Cain (right ribcage soreness) did not start for a third straight game but grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning.

Pirates: RHP Joe Musgrove (stress reaction in pelvic bone/strained abdomen) was scratched from his scheduled start Sunday and will not pitch again this season. He finishes 6-9 with a 4.06 ERA in 19 starts. … C Francisco Cervelli (gastrointestinal discomfort) was not in the lineup after leaving Friday night’s game in the sixth inning.

UP NEXT

Milwaukee LHP Wade Miley (5-2, 2.08 ERA) has won his last three starts with a 1.69 ERA going into Sunday. RHP Nick Kingham (5-6, 4.69 ERA) will make his first start since Sept. 2 in place of Musgrove.